Why Does Meat Need to Be at Room Temperature for Cooking

Why does meat need to warm up? Whether you’re cooking using the oven or the stovetop, bringing meat to room temperature will ensure that you have a juicy, flavorful cut. When meat is removed from the refrigerator or freezer, it is cold and at the temperature of preservation. Cooking it straight away will yield a taste very different compared to a piece you allow to temper at room temperature. 

Instead of cooking meat cold from the fridge, try allowing it to rest at room temperature for about an hour. Doing this is not harmful to your health and will ensure the best taste, texture, and aroma. A temperature between 25 and 30°C will work perfectly. 

If you’ve purchased a decent cut of meat and want to get the most out of the cut, understanding why and how to temper meat before cooking will help you considerably.

The Advantages of Bringing Meat to Room Temperature

Allowing steak or any other type of meat to sit at room temperature prior to cooking does a lot more than maximize flavor and aroma. Let’s take a look at the advantages you can expect from properly tempering your meat:

It Keeps the Meat From Drying Out

If you want to cook a beautiful tenderloin in the oven while retaining all of the flavor, remove it from the refrigerator one hour before you intend to cook. When you put cold meat directly on a hot pan, the juices inside cannot react and offer the best flavor. Much of the flavorful liquid will leak out and not even end up sealed within your steak. A juicy and tender piece of meat must be tempered so that the flavor is sealed up inside, ready to tantalize your tongue.

It Maintains the Size of the Steak

The considerable temperature difference between the inside and exterior of your steak will cause it to become less juicy. When the liquid seeps out, you lose volume and then witness your big piece of steak turn into something much smaller than expected. Leaving it to rest an hour before cooking will help you avoid the disappointment of a smaller-than-expected meal.

It Ensures an Evenly Cooked Steak

Have you ever cut into a steak, only to find the inside still cold and uncooked? Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon when you fail to temper the meat. The outer layer will come to temperature faster than the center of the meat, and you will most likely overcook the surface while leaving the middle cold. And yes, there is a difference between a rare or medium-rare steak and a steak with a cold and hard hard center!

It Reduces Refrigerator Aroma

Taking a piece of meat out of the fridge and allowing it to come to room temperature will help your dinner shed any funky odors it may have absorbed from sitting among a variety of other ingredients. Once it has been tempered, it will return to the expected taste and scent. Raw meat absorbs odors and flavors from other foods in the refrigerator, such as fish or cheese. Therefore, tempering is a crucial step to ensure you have the best aroma of the meat you are cooking.

It Offers Greater Tenderness

You can enhance your digestion process when you eat a piece of meat that is thoroughly cooked after reaching the proper temperature. When you place it on the grill straight from the fridge, it’s common for meat to cook unevenly, affecting softness and texture. You could even experience bloating and an upset stomach. Proper cooking technique will ensure a happy belly even after the meal is done.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to cooking and serving a high-quality cut of meat, every detail counts. Technique is everything, and even if you’re inexperienced, some practice will help you pick it up. If you pay attention to the process that takes place even before the stove or oven is switched on, you can ensure the best flavor and texture of food. 

If resting and properly cooking the steak, tenderloin, or T-bone to preserve the juices, aroma, and flavor seems to be too much for you, however, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A private chef can put together a meal that could bring you to tears, impressing any family and friends you have over as well. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or a special celebration, an in-home chef experience can be yours. Book a chef with Food Fire+Knives today!